Gaz-System, the gas transit system operator in Poland, reportedly could make a bid for its counterpart in the Czech Republic, Net4Gas, which together already plan to build a new pipeline between the countries in a bid to further weaken Russian control over the key energy source.
With a couple of exceptions, the richest Czechs have all relocated their firms to countries with lower corporate taxes, the Netherlands and Cyprus being the favorite destinations. Minister of Industryand Trade Martin Kuba (Civic Democrats, ODS) says it’s “unfair” that that these entrepreneurs tell the government how to improve conditions for business in the Czech Republic.
Czech financial groups KKCG and PPF Group, which now control Prague’s debt-strapped O2 Arena, have reportedly dropped plans to sell the indoor sports and entertainment complex, but have only until next week to avert nominal owner Bestpsort being declared bankrupt. The creditors reportedly see the premier Russian KHL ice hockey league as the key to the arena’s future.
Specific preparations are being taken for the sale of Czech gas pipeline owner and operator Net4Gas by it parent company RWE Transgas, according to media reports. The Czech company says German energy giant RWE has still to take a final decision to clear the sale as a means of cutting its heavy debt burden. Around a dozen bidders are already said to be circling the Czech pipeline company.
KKCG, the gas and oil company of Czech billionaire Karel Komárek, is reported to be on the verge of taking a stake of just over 16 percent in Vemex, the Czech gas importer and reseller indirectly owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom. The deal is seen helping his Russian oil and gas expansion plans.
Experts agree that the financing terms for the construction of the multipurpose O2 Arena in Prague’s Libeň district were disastrous and ultimately led to the bankruptcy of the national lottery firm Sazka. Now the man behind the project, former Sazka boss Aleš Hušák, says he now wants to buy back the arena along with a winery belonging to Sazka. But where would he get the money?
Completed in time for the Ice Hockey World Championships in 2004, the 02 Arena (originally the Sazka Arena) multifunctional indoor sports and entertainment complex in Prague reportedly cost Kč 7.2 billion to build. The project proved to be the financial downfall of the lottery firm Sazka – and auditor Ernst & Young says now it’s worth just Kč 1.57 billion.
Historic eastern Moravian distillery company Rudolf Jelínek is reportedly moving its business headquarters to the Netherlands, citing that country’s better investment protection and legal environment. The company will join a surge of Czech companies that have sited their headquarters abroad in recent years, creating a growing headache for the Finance Ministry.
Sale of engineering assets in 2010 contributed to KKCG group’s post tax profit of Kč 14.5 billion in 2010, the company’s largest annual result to date. The investment group, which owns the largest Czech oil producer, is now focusing on foreign investments primarily in the oil and gas sector.
The insolvency administrator of debt-burdened Czech lottery company Sazka received a warning to stay away from a key meeting of creditors tomorrow (May 26) because of a bomb threat. Meanwhile, the main creditors in the company, PPF and oil and gas company KKCG, have stepped up their pressure to get control of Sazka.